Recruitment is a time-consuming and challenging process that demands the use of resources, patience, and dedication. On average, a corporate job ad receives 250 resumes.

In addition to reviewing a large number of applications regularly, recruiters must make certain that no activity takes up too much time and that each candidate has a positive experience. To keep recruiting moving forward, hiring managers and recruiters need to employ a variety of methods and technologies.

Because of that, recruiters use methods that ease the process and make hiring faster. In general, these methods can be traditional and modern.

Although 81 percent of the C-Suite said “they would not have been able to operate effectively during the pandemic without HR technology”, a surprising number of HR professionals still rely on archaic recruitment methods.

That might be because they want to avoid investing in modern technology and employee training. Because of that, many recruiters could lack the skills and confidence to use HR software.

People often feel more comfortable with traditional methods or lack awareness of more affordable and innovative software that provides efficient features.

However, not using modern tools for recruitment could damage business and make the hiring process less efficient than it could be.

Here’s everything you should know about both approaches.

Traditional Tools for Recruitment

Most HR departments used Excel and Google Sheets to monitor their recruitment data and goals before the growth of digital transformation. Due to their ease of use and accessibility, these technologies became an essential part of the process.

Hence, professionals across various industries leveraged these tools for over 20 years for all kinds of assignments, such as creating a list of leads, planning budgets, monitoring revenues, etc. Although these were innovative programs a few decades ago, technology has come a long way ever since.

Despite this, many corporations and organizations still rely on Excel and other Microsoft Office products to run their hiring processes. Here are the benefits and downsides of using them.

Excel or Google Sheets for Recruitment

Traditional methods of tracking the recruitment process using Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheets include creating workbooks or downloading templates from the Internet. There, recruiters can add applicants’ data, application status information, resumes, interview schedules, selection process results, onboarding info, etc.

However, while these platforms offer a lot of customization options, they can be extremely complex and tedious to work with depending on the requirements and the amount of data stored.

Advantages of Using Excel in Recruitment

Here are the main benefits of using Excel in recruitment:

  • Widely Available, Affordable, and “Easy to Use” – Being so versatile, most companies and departments use Google Sheets or Excel in some form or way. This leads to most employees being able to use these applications’ basic functions without the need for any training.
  • Easily Store Large Amounts of Data – Recruiters can use Excel to store and summarize data. However, that is not scalable as users will struggle to find a specific job applicant or customer, getting lost in thousands of rows and spreadsheets.
  • Emphasize Data with Conditional Formatting – Recruiters can leverage Conditional Formatting to highlight specific values. That comes in handy when they’re discussing spreadsheets with their supervisors and teams, or when they’re generating analysis and reports.
  • Highly Customizable – This is to be taken with a grain of salt. While in theory anything is possible using Excel or Google Sheets, in practice, complex customization is out of reach for the average user and might even require a developer. Finally, while the end result might meet the requirements, highly complex sheets are likely not to be as functional as a dedicated recruitment software.

Disadvantages of Using Excel and Google Sheets in Recruitment

Here’s why these programs can’t keep up with new tech:

1. There is no Applicant Tracking System in place

A major drawback of Excel and Google Sheets is that they are not specifically designed for recruitment, meaning that they do not provide recruiters access to all the relevant tools in one spot and out of the box. These programs don’t include the Applicant Tracking System, a must for fast and data-driven recruitment.

ATS typically enables hiring managers and teams to leverage various candidate sourcing functions that make it easier to reach and identify the most compatible job applicant. That also means Excel and Google Sheets don’t use artificial intelligence and fail to provide meaningful data, consolidate information, or search databases.

2. No Customer Relationship Management Software

Most cloud-based tech solutions come with CRM software, allowing recruiters to foster continuous communication with clients and stakeholders. However, Excel and Google Sheets don’t have any means that support collaboration or enable messages.

Account Managers must be able to share limited information with their team and third parties, and they must use external channels to communicate. This is not something Excel and Google Sheets allow for, leaving your team at a disadvantage.

3. No Resume Parser

Although it’s possible to add links to candidate resumes to Google Sheets and Excel, it’s impossible to analyze them and use the information to identify the most compatible candidates. Nowadays, HR tech usually includes a resume parser, a tool that assesses job applicants’ data and matches them to relevant roles and positions.

4. No Reports and Analytics

Excel and Google Sheets may enable the use of formulas and data summaries, but modern tools are data-driven, more accurate, and can handle bulkier data chunks. Recruitment SaaS includes reports and analytics, essential for understanding recruitment efforts in-depth and identifying the best improvements.

5. No Centralized Dashboard

An easy-to-use pipeline is necessary for a seamless recruitment process, making it easy to find job applicants’ profiles, relevant data, and track progress. However, neither Excel nor Google Sheets have a centralized and customizable dashboard, where recruiters can find what they need with a few clicks.

6. No Team Collaboration Tools

The closest Excel and Google Sheets get to collaborative tools is comments and sharing access to files with team members. Yet, these features are necessary for good teamwork and efficient communication.

As a result, Google Sheets and Excel lack functions that enable hiring managers and third parties to interact directly in the dashboard and decide about the selection process and strategy tweaks.

7. Limited Customization

Excel and Google Sheets have little to no mechanisms that easily support recruitment-related customization. As a result, recruiters have less freedom regarding whom they allow access to view specific data, such as salary information or resumes.

8. No Social Media and Job Boards Integration

Modern tools for the hiring process such as recruitment SaaS enable HR professionals to connect the software dashboard with various job boards and social media networks. Excel and Google Sheets don’t have that possibility, and recruiters and hiring managers can use them for adding data only.

Concerning that 71 percent of recruiters said social media recruiting is efficient in decreasing time-to-fill for non-management, salaried positions, this integration is a substantial benefit for recruitment.

9. No Career Page

When a company actively maintains its employer brand, 75% of job seekers are more likely to apply for a position. Unfortunately, Excel and Google Sheets provide no career page or other relevant tools that allow HR professionals to highlight the company brand, culture, or benefits.

10. No Customer Support

Excel and Google Sheets don’t have interactive customer support and live chat service assistance. You must Microsoft Support for any question or issue you might have, and to receive an answer usually takes three days.

Not having these ten features typically results in:

  • Long Processes – Companies that have more than ten employees likely have multiple available vacancies simultaneously. Hence, tracking and assessing data from various sources could result in a long process and lost time. Excel and Google Sheets require switching between several sheets, tabs, and emails to find the right job applicant or information, preventing high-value activities.
  • Inaccuracies – Nearly nine out of ten spreadsheets contain errors. Even though your company might do its best to keep these mistakes to a minimum, the smallest one can impact your business.
  • Losing Job Applicants in the Process – It’s challenging to track candidates in Excel and Google Sheets due to the number of open spreadsheets and data scattering across various sources. Because of that, you could forget about a job applicant, lose their application status, and have them quit in the process.
  • Diminished Candidate Experience Quality – The inability to accurately track job applicants’ progress through the funnel could result in irregular communication and slow processes. That could minimize the candidate experience quality, and four in five candidates use this aspect to indicate how much a company values its people.
  • Repetition of the Same Tasks – Recruiters who rely on email and spreadsheets for recruitment spend a lot of time copying and pasting the same data.
  • Inability to Promote Available Vacancies – HR professionals can still post job openings on employment boards and social media. But they’ll have to log in to websites and channels every day and review each job application because Excel and Google Sheets don’t have this integration.
  • Compliance Issues Modern tools such as recruitment SaaS support customers in staying compliant, but Excel and Google Sheets don’t provide this benefit.
  • Inability to Boost KPI Effectiveness – Due to not having ATS, reports, analytics, holistic dashboard, and collaborative tools, Google Sheets and Excel fail to drive KPI efficacy.

Modern Recruitment Tools

Modern tools for recruitment are a game-changer because they’re data-driven, efficient, and multifunctional. HR technology is the essential human resources ally of the 21st century, as it helps establish more accurate and streamlined processes.

Eighty percent of recruiters felt that adding HR technology into their operations had a positive impact on employee satisfaction. It’s no surprise that the talent management software industry will likely experience a compound annualized growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5 percent by 2025.

Business leaders and HR professionals are increasingly embracing technology because it speeds up their activities, provides multiple features in a centralized dashboard, and leverages the power of artificial intelligence. One of the best examples is the recruitment SaaS, cloud-based software that will have a worth of 60.36 billion USD by 2023.

Advantages of Using SaaS Software in Recruitment

Recruitment SaaS is a software as a service cloud-based system. In this on-demand solution, all data, functions, and features are on the cloud, safely stored, and accessible to the customers.

Hence, users access it by logging in to their accounts, as this software is available whenever and wherever via an internet connection. Its dashboard is multifunctional and enables multiple features that aren’t available in on-premise systems.

Here are the benefits of a recruitment SaaS:

1. Easy to Use

Recruitment SaaS has a smooth interface that’s easy to navigate and find all available features in one place. HR professionals can use this software from the moment the subscription starts, and they don’t have to worry about updates and maintenance, as this is the vendor’s responsibility.

2. Cost-effective

Although many company leaders believe innovative technology is pricey, recruitment SaaS is cost-effective, doesn’t require an IT infrastructure, and allows customers to only subscribe for features relevant to their business.

3. Scalable

Customers pay only for the functions they need, so they can alter their subscription contract and add more possibilities as their businesses grow.

4. Doesn’t Require Prior Training

Thanks to its ease of use, business leaders, HR teams, and hiring managers don’t require specific knowledge or skills to use the recruitment SaaS. As a result, there’s no need for investment in upskilling or training.

5. Smooth Integration with Other Tools

Customers don’t have to worry about their existing tech infrastructure because the recruitment SaaS can integrate easily with other tools, such as ATS.

6. Easy to Implement

Business leaders don’t require tech support to implement the recruitment SaaS, and they can also rest assured because they can import existing data swiftly.

7. Mobile Friendly

Internet connection is the only requirement to use the recruitment SaaS. Hence, customers can navigate the dashboard from their phones, computers, and laptops without any issues.

8. Includes ATS

Recruitment SaaS includes ATS, allowing users to leverage various features that make it easier to find the best match. ATS provides an easy-to-use pipeline, holistic job applicant profile, resume formatting, and search tools.

9. Includes CRM

Customer Relationship Management is a system that helps companies and recruitment agencies foster continuous communication with clients, stakeholders, and third parties. They can speed up the recruitment process and shortlist candidates with this tool efficiently.

10. Includes Candidate Sourcing Features

Recruitment SaaS includes candidate sourcing tools that allow recruiters to share their job openings across various job boards and social media channels. Moreover, they can parse through job applicants’ public information and add it to their profiles.

11. Reports & Analytics

Compiling and assessing data is essential for an accurate and fast hiring process. Recruitment SaaS gives access to candidate reports, dashboard customization, and performance and job analytics, enabling recruiters to identify actionable solutions.

12. Collaborative Tools

Recruitment SaaS offers various features, such as integrated mails and team chat, that help teams foster continuous communication and collaborate with third parties.

13. Intuitive Recommendations

AI recommendations enable recruiters to find the most compatible candidates by scanning job descriptions and matching core requirements to the qualified job applicants.

14. Time Management

Thanks to the time management features, the recruitment SaaS users can increase efficiency, plan their daily tasks, and improve prioritization with to-do lists.

15. Career Page

Recruitment SaaS typically includes a career portal feature, allowing HR teams to boost employer branding and reach talents who are a great culture fit.

16. Customer Support

Finally, the recruitment SaaS provides interactive support to all the users and ensures they can import data from any file type or share documents from their previous hiring software.

Disadvantages of Using SaaS Software in Recruitment

Despite its multiple benefits, the recruitment SaaS also has some shortcomings:

  • Vendors have a Higher Level of Control – Recruitment SaaS is an on-demand software, so users must use the latest application version and can’t hold off features upgrades and changes.
  • Users Require an Internet Connection – Users can only use the recruitment SaaS when online.


Although many business leaders and HR professionals still believe Excel and Google Sheets are the most efficient and cost-effective tools for recruitment, these programs are becoming obsolete and lack multiple features. Using them can result in inaccuracies, limited talent pool, long time-to-hire, and lack of business success.

Transform your recruitment today and leave archaic tools behind. Make the most of your hiring efforts and try Manatal’s 14-day free trial.

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